The Great Lakes Research Consortium (GLRC) has awarded nearly $45,000 in grants for research projects in upstate New York.
The projects investigate vitamin B deficiency in Lake Ontario fish, analyze a dataset on harmful algal blooms in nearly 200 lakes in New York, and test DNA-based barcoding as a way to more accurately analyze the Great Lakes food web, the GLRC recently announced.
The Great Lakes Research Consortium is based at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) in Syracuse. GLRC is an organization of 18 colleges and universities in New York, along with nine affiliate campuses in the Canadian province of Ontario dedicated to “collaborative” Great Lakes research and science education, according to an organization news release.
New York State Great Lakes Protection Fund is providing the funding via the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to the Great Lakes Research Consortium, the GLRC said.
The GLRC is awarding funds to the SUNY College at Brockport, Cornell University, the Upstate Freshwater Institute, and SUNY-ESF.
Project collaborators include the DEC, New York State Federation of Lake Associations, and the U.S. Geological Survey Lake Ontario Biological Field Station.
“The Great Lakes Research Consortium is pleased to award funds for three distinct projects that will address critical needs and opportunities to advance Great Lakes science,” Gregory Boyer, director of the GLRC, said in the release.
Boyer is also a chemistry and biochemistry professor at SUNY-ESF and a participating researcher in the study of harmful algae and algae-related ecosystem impact.
The SUNY College at Brockport will use a grant of nearly $15,000 to investigate vitamin B1 deficiency impact in lake and steelhead trout and Coho and Chinook salmon and their prey fish — alewife, rainbow smelt, and round goby.
Lack of vitamin B1 is a cause of death in young and broodstock fish, GLRC said.
Research areas include Lake Ontario waters near Hamlin Beach, Olcott, Oswego, and Rochester, and the Salmon River Fish Hatchery in Altmar.
The U.S. Geological Survey Lake Ontario Biological Station in Oswego and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Fisheries Station at Cape Vincent, will collaborate on the project.
The Upstate Freshwater Institute in Syracuse and SUNY-ESF will also use a grant of nearly $15,000 to investigate factors associated with the recent proliferation of harmful algal blooms (HABs) in the waters of the Great Lakes basin.
Since 2011, the Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program has tracked HABs in lakes across New York, creating a large multi-systems database that provides information on the physical, chemical and biological factors that can trigger HABs.
The DEC’s Division of Water and the New York State Federation of Lake Associations, Inc. will collaborate on the project, the GLRC said.
Cornell University will also use a grant award of $15,000 to develop and test more “efficient” methods for analyzing the diet of mysid shrimp, a “critical” mid-level component in the freshwater food web.
Researchers will employ DNA sequencing to identify algal and zooplankton taxa, or food groups, from mysid stomachs using a barcoding approach. Results will support more “comprehensive” research into the dynamics of the food web that supports the multi-million dollar sport fishery on Lake Ontario and in the Great Lakes, the GLRC said.
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